Time is your biggest enemy when escaping from a burning building. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with smoke and become engulfed in flames.
Proper planning may make the difference between life and death. That’s why it’s crucial to establish an effective fire escape plan within your household and practice it regularly. When creating an escape plan, incorporate these elements.
• When coming to a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the doorknob and the crack between the door and the frame to ensure the fire isn’t directly outside. If the door feels hot, use the secondary exit. If the door feels cool, brace yourself against it and open it slowly.
• Do not waste any time trying to save your personal property—no matter how important it may seem. Instead, take the safest exit route.
• If you must escape through smoke, crawl low under the smoke and cover your mouth.
• Establish a meeting place outside of the home where everyone knows to go once they are safely outside. Designate one person to call the fire department once they have escaped.
• Never go back into a burning home for any reason. Nothing in your home is worth losing your life over.
• If you find yourself trapped in your home while it’s on fire, call 911 immediately and give the operator as much information as possible about where you are located in your house. Keep all doors closed and cover your mouth and nose with your shirt to reduce smoke inhalation.
Practice Makes Perfect
You and your family should establish an escape plan that outlines at least two exits from each room in your home in the event of a fire. If the primary exit is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out.
Every member of your family should practice the escape plan each month both in the light and in the dark so that everyone knows how to feel their way out of the house. For more home safety guidance and homeowners insurance solutions, contact us today.